The Los Angeles Dodgers just announced a contract extension for one of the team's biggest stars. Mookie Betts, who landed with the team in a February trade, will remain in Los Angeles for the foreseeable future. The team did not provide financial details but said that Betts agreed to a 12-year extension and will stay with the team through 2032.
According to ESPN's Jeff Passan, the contract extension is $365 million, surpassing Mike Trout's previous record of $360 million. When partnered with the one-year, $27 million deal Betts is playing under, the total is now 13 years and $392 million. The deal also includes a $65 million signing bonus. This total makes Betts' contract the largest extension in MLB history. The Dodgers will no longer have to worry about one of the league's best players reaching free agency and heading to a different team after taking a gamble with the blockbuster trade.
"12 years and a $365 million contract extension for Mookie Betts. He'll be a Dodger for the rest of his career. I will ask this until he retires....the Red Sox weren't willing to do this why?" one MLB fan asked on social media after seeing the deal. Several others agreed with this sentiment and proclaimed that the Red Sox had missed out by trading Betts to the Dodgers and not "believing in him."
ESPN also reports that there were initial concerns about how the pandemic would impact Betts' contract extension. A deal worth $300 million was the expectation, but the lack of clarity about the league's financial future created a potential issue. However, the Dodgers worked out the deal and locked up Betts for a very long time.
Betts is one of the best players in Major League Baseball. He has been named an All-Star the last four consecutive years. He was named AL MVP in 2018 and helped Red Sox win the World Series the same year. Betts is a three-time Silver Slugger winner and a four-time Gold Glove winner. Betts finished the 2019 season with 29 home runs and 80 RBIs in 150 games.
According to ESPN Stats & Info, Betts has four consecutive seasons with at least 100 runs, 40 doubles and 20 home runs. This ties with Robinson Cano and Albert Pujols for the longest such streak since 1961. He also ranks second in MLB since 2016, with 93 defensive runs saved.